Building an effective team that runs with the vision statement, and is working towards achieving the objective of the company is one of the most important bedrock of productivity and eventual success of every organization. One of the ways to achieve this is the occasional engagement of the workers in team-building activities.
Effective team building is an important aspect of building an organization. Team building help create a solid foundation for your team. While it does not guarantee that all employees will get along at the same time, if they are encouraged to connect, with low pressure, they will be able to relate with each other productively.
However, the effectiveness of team building activities is not tied to how complex they are. In fact, easy team building activities may be more engaging and productive than complicated ones. We have, therefore, prepared 30 unusual, effective, and easy team building activities to help bring out the best in your team.
Team building activities and games are supposed to be easy, simple, fun, sensational, and educative. These are sure great ways of improving communication, productivity as well as helping employees and new teams get to know each other better, by understanding how each person works, and solve problems.
Importance of Team Building Activities
No organization or business can function without an effective and efficient team, from the executive level to the front desk officer. It is therefore of great significance that you understand the benefits of engaging your team in easy team building activities. These benefits include:
1. It Strengths Team Work
Engaging your team in team-building activities create the time to focus on improving collaboration between teammates. It fosters effective and productive communication which helps each member of the team understand and acknowledge each others’ strengths and weaknesses.
2. It Creates Bond
Team building activities help in creating new bonds as well as strengthen the existing bond among teammates. It helps teammates to learn from each other without being judgmental. It creates an atmosphere where each teammate are free to be their selves, gives their opinions about any subject discussed, and feels confident that his/her opinion is understood and acknowledge even if it’s not agreeable.
3. Identify Leadership Qualities
Structured easy team building activities help in identifying the leadership qualities in teammates and highlight specific areas where each staff, team member, or individual can function effectively within the organization as a leader.
4. It Sharpens Communication Skills
Good communication is very crucial for effective performance within a team. When you and your team engage in team-building exercises, communication skills are improved, which in turn improves an individual’s ability to listen attentively.
More so, it serves as a guide toolkit in understanding others as well as constructively passing information and advice without being judgmental.
Team building will also help to break down the barrier in communication and how to utilize both verbal and non-verbal forms of communication.
Imagine having a team where your ideas and perspective about a problem are understood? Where you don’t really need to say a word before your message is passed to your team? This helps boost your team’s confidence.
5. It Builds Trust
Through the exercises and tasks involved in team building events, a teammate may learn about their strengths, weakness, fears, and capacities. This helps in creating trust as they learn things about each other which sometimes are not work-related.
6. It Reinforces Responsibilities
Every member of the team is assigned a role during the team building activities, this helps them contribute to their team performance. Team building activities help reinforce how taking up and providing responsibilities are vital contributors to any team performance. Lessons learned from these activities can help the teamwork effectively.
7. It’s Stress-Relieving
A well-done team-building exercise is educative, enjoyable, and relaxing. Helping team members relieve stress and encourage the belief that work can still be achieved in an interesting atmosphere. An atmosphere where everyone is lively and less tense would help contribute to the high performance of teammates.
8. Boosts Employee Morale
Good morale is created when a team is enthusiastic and passionate about their work. Team building can help identify barriers to positive morale and highlight strategies to create fun and positivity on day-to-day activities carried out in the organization.
30 Team Building Activities That You’ll Love
There are several team building activities that you can engage your team in. It’s important that you choose an activity base on what your team needs at the moment in performing better.
The team building activities include; communication activities, problem-solving or decision-making activities, planning activities, and activities that focus on building trust and confidence.
The main idea is to engage in activities that are both educative and fun; whose bottom line is to improve the performance and efficiency of employees.
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Team Building Problem Solving Activities.
Participants involved in this type of team-building activities must have an open and flexible mind and be receptive to ideas and solutions. They must be opened to different planning, structure, and processes.
1. Marshmallow Spaghetti Tower
This helps the team collaborate effectively. The aim of the activity is to help the team understand that we can solve problems better together than we can alone.
What you need per team:
• 20 sticks of uncooked spaghetti
• 1 marshmallow
• 1 roll of masking tape
• 1 yard of string
This is to see which team can collaborate using the provided material in building the tallest tower within an allotted time.
This tower must stand on its own. Marshmallow is added to make the exercise more challenging. This team-problem-solving exercise helps the team think and build leadership qualities.
This exercise helps with communication and casting organizational vision into team members.
What you will need:
Divide the team into small groups. Select someone as an overseer who isn’t in any group to build a random structure using lego building blocks within 10 minutes. This structure should not be built in the presence of other teams that would be involved in the game.
The structure should be kept where none of the groups can find it.
The groups are to select a member from each group to go look at the original structure for few seconds and illustrate to his or her team what he/she saw. They are to replicate the exact structure (including colors, sizes) within 15 minutes.
3. Mine field
It promotes teamwork, communication, and trust among participants
What you will need:
• A collection of common office items
• An empty room or hallway
Place the items (water bottles, boxes, chairs, bags, staplers, etc) around the room so there is no clear path from one end of the room to another.
Divide your team into pairs and blindfold one person on the team. The other person must guide the blindfolded partner verbally from one end of the room to another, avoiding the mines.
The partner who is not blindfolded can’t touch the other. All pairs must go simultaneously so teams must find a way to strategically and effectively communicate with each other.
4. Egg Drop Challenge
It helps the team in decision-making. Decision-making activities help the team become more adept at problem-solving.
What you will need:
• A carton of eggs
• A place you don’t mind getting messy
• Basic construction materials such as newspapers, plastic wraps, straws tape, balloons, rubber bands drop cloth.
Each team gets an egg. Give everyone 20-30 minutes to construct a carrier (selecting from the construction materials) for the egg. This carrier should be able to protect the egg from breaking when.
Drop each egg carrier off a balcony and see whose carrier protects the egg from breaking.
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Unusual Team Building Activities
What makes some team building activities unusual depends sometimes on the context, task, environment, or resources which can be used to solve problems. as from experience, people enjoy playing them.
If you can, the best way to ensure people participate is to spice the competition up with some form of reward or prize.
Some of the unusual team building activities include:
5. Blindfolded Food Tasting
Would you trust your colleagues or teammates enough to let them choose an unknown food for you to taste? Well, I know you doubt if you would.
This unusual team-building exercise helps teammates build trust. And you’ll agree with me that trust amidst team members is a necessity to pursue a common goal and be successful at it.
What you will need:
• Food, drinks, sauces, spices.
The team is divided into small groups. A member of each team is blindfolded, fed with food, drinks then having to guess what it is.
Make sure you check for any allergies before proceeding with this activity.
6. Dragon’s Den
Is your team lacking creativity at the moment? Are you confused about how to boost their morale? Then I think you should consider this team-building exercise.
Select four people as heads of Dragons or judges.
Divide your team into small groups.
Give a task, having everyone design a product; come up with business or ideas relevant to your business, or organizations.
Allocate about 30 minutes for each team to present their ideas to the four Dragons. The best idea or product design wins.
7. Sports Day
Organizing a sports day event can be a great way to get colleagues and teammates to work together if you are located near a park.
Think about activities that can be done, write them out on pieces of paper, and put them into a hat. Get everyone on your team to pull out just one slip each from the hat to see which activity they will be participating in.
Here are some of the activities you can do:
• Relay race
• The three-legged race
• Sack race
• Football/cricket/volleyball or any other team base sports of your choice.
This is a bit different from zombie evasion, instead of eliminating all zombies that are coming to get you, teams are separated into smaller groups and they go into live combat with a paintball gun as their weapon.
This particular exercise encourages teamwork and promotes unity.
9. Crossword Puzzle Race
This exercise helps foster teamwork and encourages employees to look around intently for opportunities that can help the business’ growth.
You will need:
• Crossword puzzles, pencils, and erasers.
Make copies of the same crossword puzzle (this can be gotten from the internet).
Divide the team and give each team a crossword puzzle.
Challenge the team to fill in the crossword puzzle within 15 minutes (the time can vary depending on your discretion).
If no one completes the task within the allotted time frame, the team with the most correct answers wins.
Team Building Activities for Small Business
Building an efficient team is very important for any business or organization to thrive. Sometimes, working with people can be overwhelming as it takes a lot of effort to effectively manage conflict between team members.
Research shows that a happy and productive team makes your business more attractive to your customers, so it is best to go the extra mile for your business to thrive by engaging your team in some team-building exercise.
These team-building exercises do not need to be complicated nor boring. It can be as simple as a game of cheese, scrabble, or any activity that can keep your employees engaged and promote teamwork.
Below are 5 quick easy team building activities to help your employee connect better, even as a small business.
10. Knot My job
It is a nice way to get every of your employee involved in problem-solving.
You will need:
• Strings or rope
Assemble enough strings or rope that every member of your team can have equal pieces.
Challenge each team member to tie as many simple overhand knots as possible within the allotted time frame (say, 20 minutes).
Exchange, the knotted rope of one team with the other team.
Then, challenge each team to untie the knots on the rope.
See how many each team can untie in that same amount of time allotted to them when knotting.
The team member with the highest sum of ‘knots tied’ and ‘knots untied’ wins.
11. Answer Trivia Questions
Answering trivia questions is one of the team-building exercises that promote unity between teammates.
It can be played in different ways, but the important thing is you need a bunch of trivia questions to make it fun and engaging.
You can get trivia questions materials by searching on your search engines or you can make use of the Trivial Pursuit (game).
Divide the team into two, ask questions and give team A about one minute to answer, if team A doesn’t know the answer, team B is permitted to give the answer within 15 seconds and vice versa.
You may also involve your remote team members through video chatting or calling in.
In carrying out this game, get creative with your questions so as to have your employees fully engaged.
12. One Minutes Typing Test
This activity is very practical and fun as it encourages fast typing, meeting deadlines, and of course, the spirit of competition.
Print a copy of any long article or story then give each employee 5 minutes to correctly and accurately type as much as they can from the story or article.
Make use of a word processor to help with the word count.
The team member who types the most, with less error is declared the winner.
13. Community Service
One of the ways you can give back to your community is through the cats of service. This too has a way of encouraging team bonding.
There are several ways to get involved in community service which include volunteering at a local store, donating items to an orphanage home, organizing a community/park clean up, etc.
Engaging your employees in activities like any of these helps to spread goodwill, and create a positive impression of your company’s image to any potential customers or clients.
It is also important that you reward your team or employees once you are through with the community service. This helps to boost the morale of your employees.
14. Scavenger Hunt
This team-building exercise encourages teamwork and creative thinking.
Divide the team into small groups (or individual, if you have a few employees)
Put together a list of items for each group (or person) to find within an allotted time.
The first person or group who finds more numbers of listed items is declared the winner.
You can make it more challenging by giving clues and riddles of the items you want them to find instead of making a list.
Where you have a tie between winners, use the ‘first to reach the number’ of items found.
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Team Building Activities for Older Adults
Perhaps your teams are comprised of adults. Then, these team building activities for older adults will help them connect easily and have some fun time together.
“Oh, my goodness, not another dumb and annoying team-building exercise again,” says the displeased and frustrated employee. “Can’t we go home if we don’t have anything important to do than this team building game?; groaning from a stressed teammate”.
When these thoughts cross your employees’ mind whenever they hear “team-building exercise”, you should know, there is a big problem with effective communication and collaboration among team members.
Inspiring collaboration, communication, and productivity among employees can be challenging especially when your employees don’t see the need for a team-building exercise. However, you can get some creative games from the following:
15. Circle of Appreciation
Have your team stand in a circle.
Tell everyone to share one thing that they appreciate about the person standing to their right.
Once the circle is complete, go the other way and tell everyone to share one thing they appreciate about the person standing to their left.
This helps your team build respect and morale for each other.
This is an easy team building activity that helps to refresh and engage those who feel drained or stressed out.
It provides them with time away from their task to think about something else; as the game doesn’t require any equipment and it takes a few minutes to complete.
Divide the group into two lines and have them face each other.
Flip a coin to see which team goes first.
If line A goes first, give them a minute or two to study the people on the opposite line (line B).
Now give the other participants in line (B) a minute to change ten things about themselves while participants in line A face away.
Participants in line B can change into whatever they want, simple idea includes:
• Unrolling sleeves
• Swapping pieces of jewelry
• Swapping shoes
• Untying shoelaces
• Rolling sleeves
• Unbuttoning shirts.
Instruct participants in line A to turn around and find the things different in participants in line B. once the changes have been discovered, switch roles, and go again.
17. Pop The Balloons
This game might sound really easy, it is challenging to complete the task than you think.
Divide your employees into two teams, have one member of each team take a turn popping as many balloons as possible in 2 minutes while they are wearing boxing gloves.
Instruct each member of the team not to step on, poke, bite, or use any instrument but just their hands to pop the balloons.
18. Group Meditation
A great way to give your team a break from their busy schedule is through group meditation. Meditation helps reduce stress, increase happiness, and improves concentration.
You can get yoga mats so that everyone can carry out yoga activities. If your office isn’t spacious enough, you may bring in someone who runs a meditation session to help your employees get the best out of the meditation session.
19. Blow Up Balloons
This team-building activity is just like its name.
Teams attempt to blow up and tie as many balloons as possible over a set time. You can have the balloon in different colors to help identify how many balloons each member was able to blow up.
This exercise can be done when preparing for a party, in that you are playing the game and carrying out an important task simultaneously.
Fun Morning Huddle Ideas
Huddle meetings are brief, easy, and highly accurate in getting their point passed to the team.
This type of meeting is designed to have everyone on the team to be on the same page. A football team that huddles together to strategize for the game, and boost their morale is a clear picture for a huddle meeting.
It energizes the workplace and gets everyone to save time and be more productive.
With a smile and something fun, a united team starts the day with good spirit and solidarity.
We have included a few fund huddle meeting exercises that can help spice the morning, for you and your team.
20. Dessert Island Selection
Ask your team what are the three things they would bring to a deserted island. Have them answer this question. This will help them learn something new about each other.
21. Word Scramble
This is quick and fun. Have a word for your team to unscramble. When accomplished on time, they get a quick feeling of achievement. This helps them know the importance of teamwork as they carry out different tasks for the day.
22. What’s My Name
What’s my name is an empathy-building game. For decades it has gone by different names. It is not a complicated game, as it requires less competition and it’s more fun if more people are playing the game at once.
Each player in this game is assigned a name of a person dead or alive. The names can be placed on their forehead, back, or any part of their body visible to other players.
After everyone has been successfully assigned a name, they mingle with other players or colleagues and treat them the way they would treat the person’s name written in the card their colleagues have on them.
They will keep asking questions to get the name of who their colleagues are. This helps to foster empathy among the team, where they learn to treat others not just the way they would be treated but also the way their teammates or colleagues would want them to be treated.
24. Karaoke Night
What other way to help your team break off fatigue and stress than to sing and dance to karaoke. It’s one of the easiest ways to help relieve your team from stress or help them break away from work fatigue. This can also be spiced up with a price, given to the best group performance.
25. Barter Puzzle
This game helps in helping the teamwork together. It also helps them improve their communication and negotiation skills.
Divide your team into smaller groups and give each group a different jigsaw puzzle to solve.
Each group will have a set of puzzles missing which will be in possession of the opposite group.
The teams in each group have to work together to get the missing puzzle which includes negotiating appropriately by trading puzzle pieces or even team members.
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Quick Ice Breaker Games
Quick ice breaker games lighten up everyone’s mood before a meeting commence. Ice breaking games do not have to be lame, or in a particular format, rather it has to be fun and relaxing.
Any game that helps heightens your team’s morale, keep them smiling, and properly engage during a meeting and support your cultural values.
26. The Toilet Paper Ice Breaker
To play this game, take toilet paper, and have everyone rip as much as they would usually use.
After the roll of toilet paper has gone around, have everyone count of many squares they have.
The amount of squares determines the number of fun facts they have to share with others.
27. The Shoe Ice Breaker
This takes very little time to complete.
Have everyone leave one shoe by the door.
Carefully redistribute these shoes so that no one has their shoe back for the main time. Instruct everyone to find the shoe owners and have a 5 minutes conversation with them, before returning their shoes to them.
28. The Probs Ice Breaker
It is an inspirational ice breaker.
Have every member of your team think for 5 minutes about a situation their colleagues did with their skills, gestures, or kindness; something amazing that blew their mind.
Everyone is expected to share their stories with the rest of the team. This fosters respect between teams.
29. No Smiling Ice Breaker
Have your team settle down for a meeting and instruct them not to smile for 5 minutes. Have a camera set up to take pictures of their facial expressions; you will be amazed at how some people become humorous when told not to smile.
You may share the picture of each person with other team members.
30. One Word Ice Breaker
This involves having each member of your team describe their emotions with just one word. This helps the team communicate precisely how they feel and to get others to understand how others feel as well.
I hope this has helped you come up with some easy team building activities you can engage your team in? Remember, that the easy team building activities you engage your team in should be the type that helps your team grow and become more productive.